Then he ordered a warrior each horse be let free,
driven afar and advance onward,
giving thought to deeds of arms and to steadfast courage.
Then it was that Offa's kinsman first perceived,
that the Earl would not endure cowardice,
for he let then from his hand flee his beloved
falcon towards the woods and there to battle went forth.
By this a man might understand that this youth would not
prove soft at the coming battle, when he takes up arms.
Further Eadric desired to serve his chief,
his lord to fight with; and so he advanced forward
his spear to battle. He had a dauntless spirit
as long as he with hands might be able to grasp
that he had made before his lord saying he would fight.
Then Byrhtnoth marshalled his soldiers,
riding and instructing, directing his warriors
how they should stand and the positions they should keep,
with steady hands and be not afraid.
Then when he beheld that people in suitable array,
he dismounted amid his people, where he was most pleased to
there amid his retainers knowing their devotion.
a Viking messenger, making speech,
menacingly delivering the sea-pirate's
message to this Earl on the opposite shore standing:
"I send to you from the bold seamen,
treasures to us, and it would be better to you if
with tribute buy off this conflict of spears
than with us bitter battle share.
No need to slaughter each other if you be generous with us;
If you believe which of these is the noblest path,
and that your people are desirous of assurance,
then pay the sea-farers on their own terms
money towards peace and receive peace from us,
depart on the sea and keep peace with you."
Byrhtnoth spoke, his shield raised aloft,
brandishing a slender ash-wood spear, speaking words,
wrathful and resolute did he give his answer:
They desire to you a tribute of spears to pay,
poisoned spears and old swords,
the war-gear which you in battle will not profit from.
Sea-thieves messenger, deliver back in reply,
that here stands undaunted an Earl with his band of men
who will defend our homeland,
Aethelred's country, the lord of my
people and land. Fall shall you
that you with our coin to your ships should get away
without a fight, now you thus far
into our homeland have come.
You shall not so easily carry off our treasure:
fierce conflict, is the tribute we will hand over."
He then ordered their shields taken up, his soldiers
until on the river-bank they all stood.
Because of the river they were not able this band of men to
fight the other:
joining in the tidal stream. Too long it seemed to him
until the time when they together with spears join in battle.
There they on the Pante stream with pride lined the
East Saxon spears and the sea-raider army;
unless through an arrow's flight death receive.
Then the tide went out. The seamen stood ready,
many Vikings eager for battle.
Then the heroes' protector ordered that the causeway be held
valiant with his people: that was Ceola's son,
who the first man with his spear slain
was one who boldly on the causeway stood.
There fought with Wulfstan warriors fearless,
who would not at this fjord take to flight,
but stoutly against the enemy defended themselves
while with their weapons they might wield.
Then they understood and clearly saw,
and so began to use guile, the hateful strangers,
asked that passage to land they might have,
to the shore and pass the fjord would this force lead.
Then the Earl permitted in his great pride
and so then shouted on the shore of the cold water
Byrhtelm's child -- and the warriors listened:
"Now the way is open to you: come quickly to us
you men to battle. God alone knows
Then advanced the wolves of slaughter, for water they
cared not for, this band of Vikings;
west over the Pante's
shining water shore they carried their shields,
these men of the fleet towards land advanced their linden
Byrhtnoth with his soldiers. He with his shield commanded
to form the battle ranks and that force of men to hold fast
firmly towards the enemy. Then was the fight near,
glory in battle. The time was come
There came the loud clamor. Ravens circled around,
eagles eager for carrion. On Earth was the battlecry.
They then sent forth from their hands shafts hard as
murderously sharpened spears flew.
Fierce was that onslaught. Warriors fell in battle
on either side, young men lay slain.
Wounded was Wulfmaer, meeting death on the battlefield,
Byrhtnoth's kinsman: he with sword was,
There were the Vikings given requital:
I hear that Eadweard smote one
fiercely with his sword, withholding not in his blow,
so that at his feet fell a doomed warrior;
this chamber-thane, when the opportunity arose.
So stood firm of purpose
these young men in battle, eagerly giving thought
to who there with spear-points was first able
warriors with weapons. The slain in battle fell to Earth.
Steadfast and unyielding, Byrhtnoth exhorted them,
bidding that each young warrior's purpose to this battle,
against the Danes a desire to win glory in war.
shields to defense, and towards these warriors they stepped.
Resolute they approached Earl to the lowest Yeoman:
each of them intent on harm for the enemy.
Sent then a sea-warrior a spear of southern make
He thrust then with his shield such that the spear shaft
and that spear-head shattered as it sprang in reply.
Enraged became that warrior: with anger he stabbed
that proud Viking who had given him that wound.
through the warrior's neck, his hand guiding
so that he this ravager's life would fatally pierce.
Then he with another stab speedily pierced the ravager
so that the chainmail coat broke: this man had a breast wound
a deadly spear. The Earl was the better pleased:
laughed then this great man of spirit, thanking the Creator
the day's work which the Lord had given him.
And so then another warrior a spear from the other side
through the noble Aethelred's retainer.
To him by his side stood a young man not fully grown,
a youth on the battlefield, who valiantly
pulled out of this warrior the bloody spear,
and so with blinding speed came the shaft in reply.
The spear penetrated, for that who on the Earth now lay
among his people, the one who had sorely pierced.
Went then armed a man to this Earl;
booty and rings and an ornamental sword.
Then Byrhtnoth drew his sword from its sheath
broad and bright of blade, and then struck the man's coat of
But too soon he was prevented by a certain sea-scavenger,
Fall then to the ground with his gold-hilted sword:
his grip unable to hold the heavy sword,
or wield the weapon. Then still uttered those words
of the grey-haired warrior, encouraging the younger warriors,
Not could he on his feet any longer stand firmly up,
and so he looked to heaven:
"I thank you, Lord of my people,
all the joys which I on this world have experienced.
that to you my spirit shall be granted salvation
that my soul to thee be permitted to journey
and into your power, King of Angels,
with peace I depart. I only beseech that
Then he was slain by the heathen warriors;
and both of those warriors which by him stood,
Aelfnoth and Wulmaer were each slain,
close by their lord did they give up their lives.
there went Odda's child first to flight,
Godric fled from the battle, and the noble abandoned
the one which had often given him many a horse.
He leapt upon the mount of the steed which had once been his
he and with his brothers both galloped away,
Godwine and Godwig not caring for battle,
but turned away from this battlefield and to the forest fled,
seeking a place of safety and to protect their lives,
then if they had acted deservingly and all remembered
he, who had to them, all benefits did make.
Thus had Offa on that day first said
at the meeting place, there at the council,
which at the time of stress would not endure.
So now was laid low the Chief of this army,
Aethelred's Earl. All saw those
sharers of the hearth that their lord lay slain.
undaunted men hastening eagerly:
they desired all one of two things,
to leave life or else to avenge their dear lord.
And so exhorting them to advance was the child of
Aelfwine then said, he in valiant talk:
"Remember the speeches which we had often at mead spoken,
that we on the bench had loudly uttered vows,
warriors in the hall, concerning bitter strife:
I am willing that my royal descent be made known to all men,
that I was of Mercian blood greatly kindred;
my grandfather was named Ealhelm,
a wise alderman and very prosperous.
that I of this army am willing to depart from,
a homeland seek, now that my lord lies slain
and hewn down in battle. Mine is that sorrow greatest:
he was both my kinsman and my lord."
then he with spear-point pierced one
pirate in their host, and to the ground lie slain
killed with the weapon. He began then to exhorted his
friends and compatriots, that they advance onward.
"Lo, thou Aelfwine, have your words thus reminded
us liegemen to our allegiance. Now our people's protector
the Earl is on the Earth, and to us all is our need
that one another encourage each other
to have and grasp, the hard blade,
the spear and the good sword. To us has Godric,
that cowardly sun of Odda, all betrayed.
Many men believed, then when he rode on the horse,
Because of that happening here on the battlefield the people
the wall of shields breaking asunder. Shame on that action,
for because of him thus many a man was caused to flee!"
Leofsunu spoke and his linden shield was raised,
"I that swear, that from here I will not
flee a foot's space, as my desire is to advance further,
avenge in battle-strife my lord and friend.
I have no desire among Sturmere's unyielding heroes
that I now lordless go on a homeward journey,
having turned away from battle, but rather I shall be taken by
either spear or iron." Wrathfully he advanced,
fighting resolutely, for he despised flight.
a simple yeoman calling out to the entire shore,
exhorting that each warrior avenge Byrhtnoth:
"One cannot retreat who intends vengeance
for our lord of the host, if their lives they care not for."
Then began these retainers to fiercely fight,
ferocious warriors armed with spears, and praying to God
that they might avenge their lord and patron
and on their enemy death make.
he was a Northumbrian of a brave family,
Ecglaf's child; he was named Aescferth.
He hesitated not at the play of battle,
but shot forward many arrows;
at almost every moment giving out some wound,
all the while with his weapon he would wield.
Yet still at the battle front stood Eadweard the tall
ready and eager, speaking vaunting words
or turn away back to the bank, then leave his superior where
He broke through that wall of shields and among the warriors
until his bounteous lord upon those sea-men
did worthily avenge, and he on the battlefield lie slain.
press forward and eager to advance fight resolutely,
Sibyrht's brother and very many others;
splitting the enemy's shields, valiantly they defended
Rang the shield rims, and sang the corselets of mail
Offa a sea-farer sent to the Earth dead,
and there Gadd's kinsman was laid low to the ground:
soon it was at battle that Offa was hewn down.
He had however accomplished that vow to his lord
that either they both ride to the fortified
home unhurt or else perish fighting
on the battlefield and die of their wounds.
He lay slain nobly near the lord of his people.
to battle enraged. Spear often pierced
the doomed houses of life. Onward then advanced Wistan,
Thurhstan's son, to these warriors fought.
He was among the throng and slew three,
There was severe combat. Stood firm
did these warriors in battle. Warriors perished
exhausted by their wounds. The slain fell dead to the Earth.
Oswold and Eadwold all this time,
their beloved kinsman they would exhort through words
that they needed to endure
without weakening and make use of their weapons.
Byrhtwold spoke, shield raised aloft --
he very boldly commanded the warriors:
"Our hearts must grow resolute, our courage more valiant,
our spirits must be greater, though our strength grows less.
Here lies our Lord all hewn down,
that who now from this battle-play thinks to turn away.
I am advanced in years. I do not desire to be taken away,
but I by my liege Lord,
by that favorite of men I intend to lie."
Godric to battle. Often he sent forth spears,
deadly shaft sped away onto the Vikings;
thus he on this people went out in front of battle,
cutting down and smiting, until he too on the battlefield